Disasters & Accidents

Brian Bull / KLCC

The aid of at least ten bystanders helped keep a child from drowning Saturday near Brownsville.  

Ashley Horn / U.S. Forest Service

Crews are responding to six new fires across the Willamette National Forest following Monday’s thunderstorms.

Douglas Forest Protective Association

This past week, the Douglas Forest Protective Association fought ten wildfires ranging from one to 25 acres. This shortly follows Douglas County’s raised fire danger level for both the public and industrial workers.

Marion County Sheriff's Office

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said a 65-year-old helicopter pilot died Friday when his aircraft crash-landed near Mehama, in rural eastern Marion County.

Douglas Forest Protective Association

Douglas County’s Forest Protective Association raised the county’s fire danger level to “moderate” on Monday.

American Red Cross

Between wildfire season and the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Cross officials are trying to recruit local volunteers to serve their immediate communities.

Utah Reps / Flickr.com

Throughout the pandemic, relief organizations have been pushing for blood donations.  With wildfire season and some travel picking up across the Pacific Northwest, the need remains steady.

Eugene Springfield Fire

Eugene Springfield Fire's Water Rescue crews rescued 18 people from the Willamette River on Saturday.

Leah Nash

As wildfire season gets underway, Native American tribes in Oregon are cautiously preparing under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Newport


On Wednesday, the City of Newport declared a temporary emergency, issuing a stage two water restriction. According to a city press release, Public Works Director Tim Gross wrote the city’s membrane filters at the water treatment plant are plugging due to an accumulation of iron over time.

Colby K. Neal/BLM Public Affairs / National Interagency Fire Center/Flickr

Fire crews are waging a two-front battle this year: besides the expected slew of wildfires across the Pacific Northwest, they’ll also be keeping COVID-19 at bay, which will prove challenging. As part of our monthly series on Oregon’s resilience and natural resources, this story looks at the pandemic’s effects on seasonal wildfire operations.

City of Florence

The coastal city of Florence has announced a name for its newest park, which references a literal blast from the past. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports on…”Exploding Whale Park.”

Neal Herbert / U.S. Department of the Interior

Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden has given a week’s notice to a federal forest official, to better explain how firefighters and rural communities will be safe from both COVID-19 and wildfires this season.

Sara Thompson / Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde

A new, tribally-run fire department is becoming a reality for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the development will improve response time to emergencies.


The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly everyone in the world. Here in Oregon, people have already been preparing for a disaster to varying degrees for years. KLCC’s Rachael McDonald reports on what we’re learning now that might help in the next crisis.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As more Oregon businesses and institutions are re-opening following COVID-19 lockdowns, state lawmakers are looking ahead to a possible second wave of the virus later this year.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Construction continues at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, concerns surround the safety and appropriateness of having crews working during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In response to the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic local utilities are offering assistance to their customers to help them cope. 

Brian Bull / KLCC

While the coronavirus stimulus package will alleviate the burden for many Americans affected by the pandemic, an Oregon Congressman fears there’s confusion that could cause delays.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Grocery stores and markets are deemed “essential” in this pandemic, meaning they’ll stay open. KLCC’s Brian Bull checked in with stores in Eugene and Springfield on how they safeguard both customers and staff. 

Brian Bull / KLCC

The glut of spring break tourists last weekend drove coastal communities to collectively limit reservations for hotels, RV parks, and vacation rentals through April. KLCC’s Brian Bull recently talked to Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer about that order -and other efforts within Lincoln County- to curb COVID-19.

Oregon Veterans’ Home


As of this morning, the Oregon Health Authority has announced 24 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 161.

Facebook.com | Canva.com

In this state of coronavirus emergency, grocery stores have empty shelves, schools have closed, and people are wondering what’s next. A new Facebook group called the Lane County Mutual Aid Network hopes to mitigate the crisis.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

A proposal to dramatically expand an earthquake early warning system in Oregon has been stymied by the turmoil over an unrelated bill at the state capitol. For our latest story in our series on Oregon’s Natural Resources and Resilience funded by the University of Oregon Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, we took at look at how the political stalemate in Salem will delay the rollout of the ShakeAlert system.

Brian Bull / KLCC

A year ago, the region was under a foot and a half of dense snow.  Ice and falling branches knocked down many power lines, causing massive outages. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, utility work continues to protect against future disasters.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Oregon House voted Friday to advance a measure that would establish building standards for critical infrastructure in tsunami zones.

John Houdeshell

A firefighter, who was the victim of a hit and run on the McKenzie Highway, recently learned he will receive some back wages and compensation.

Oregon DEQ

The City of Salem says its drinking water continues to be safe after a truck crash on Sunday resulted in fuel spilling into the North Santiam River.


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality continues to oversee cleanup and monitoring near the site of Sunday’s truck crash and fuel release on Hwy 22 about 60 miles east of Salem.

The highway will be closed from just west of Idanha to the junction with Hwy 20, from milepost 53 to 81, until Friday or Saturday.

On Monday, the Oregon Department of Transportation was able to assess the damage and determined that it will take several days to remove contaminated soil and repair the road. An area of roadway about 600 feet long needs to be completely excavated and rebuilt.


A tanker truck carrying more than 10,000 gallons of fuel overturned Sunday on Highway 22 about 70 miles east of Salem, spilling more than half of its load. An unknown amount was released into the North Santiam River, which provides drinking water for nearby communities and the city of Salem.